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Logo for the PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit

The PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit will identify best-practices in tagging various cases in PDF documents. Questions to be addressed will likely include: the legal ways to tag a nested list, the correct way to caption multiple images, the appropriate way to organize content within headings.

Screen-shot of thumbnail images.

My hospital emailed me a medical records release form as a PDF. They told me to print it, fill it, sign it, scan it and return it to the medical records department, in that order. In 2018? To get the form via email (i.e., electronically), yet be asked to print it? Did the last 20 years just… not mean anything! So I thought I’d be clever. I’d fill it first, THEN print it. Or better yet, never print it, but sign it anyhow, and return it along with a note making the case for improving their workflow. The story continues…

Plenum at the PDF Days Europe 2018

You missed the PDF Days Europe 2018? Never mind! Here you can find the slides and video recordings of all 32 stunning sessions!

The Portable Document Format

The Portable Document Format (commonly known as “PDF”) is a file format developed in the early 1990s as a way to share computer documents, including text formatting and inline images. PDF technology was designed to allow for presentation of documents independent of the application software, operating system and hardware used to create them.

PDF files encapsulate a complete description of a fixed-layout document, including the text, fonts, graphics, and other information needed to display it. PDF files may also include a wide variety of other content, from hyperlinks to metadata to logical structure to JavaScript and attached files, that allow the format to meet a wide variety of functional and workflow needs for electronic documents.

The PDF specification

From 1993 until 2007 the PDF specification (known as the “PDF Reference”) was published by Adobe Systems, and during that time, was released in eight editions, from 1.0 to 1.7. To promote widespread adoption, Adobe System made these documents freely available and their use royalty-free, from the outset.

To download any of the pre-ISO editions of the PDF Reference, visit Adobe’s PDF Reference Archive.

In 2008 ISO published the first ISO edition of the PDF Reference as ISO 32000. Technically identical to PDF 1.7, the first ISO specification for PDF was named “ISO 32000-1”. Under a special one-time agreement between Adobe and ISO, an “Adobe version” of ISO 32000-1 was made available as a free download from Adobe’s website. Purchased directly from ISO, ISO 32000-1 costs 198 Swiss Francs.

PDF 2.0

In July, 2017, ISO published ISO 32000-2, the long-awaited PDF 2.0. In addition to numerous clarifications and corrections, this document enhances and extends the PDF format in a wide variety of new areas.

PDF 2.0 is available from ISO for 198 CHF (Swiss francs)